Can a Muslim be a Vegetarian ?
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

I was asked this question by my daughter and wanted guidance for my reply. Her question was: Can a Muslim be a vegetarian?


If a person is a vegetarian because he does not like meat and prefers eating vegetables or because of some dietary reasons, then this cannot be objected to on religious grounds. However, if he or she thinks that slaughtering animals to eat their meat is doing injustice to them, then this perhaps is not the correct attitude. He or she must realise that animals which give Halal meat have been put to the service of man by the Almighty:

And cattle He has created for you. From them you derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their [meat] you eat. (16:5)

It is God who made cattle for you that you may use some for riding and some for food. (40:79)

In my humble opinion, one should not try to be more merciful than the Merciful Allah. Such philosophising is tantamount to expressing ingratitude to the Creator. One should remember that Allah has created many things for the service of man so that man himself realise that these favours and blessings have a source: The Almighty. A person who develops a true comprehension of His Gracious Creator cannot lead a life of sin, though he may sometimes stumble into sin.

In other words, eating the meat of the animals is acknowledging the favours of a Gracious Creator, and this acknowledgement in turn is instrumental in the inner purification of a person – the primary goal of Islam.


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